My great buddy, Fashion Critical, recently announced signing up to No Meat May (yes, I know who FC really is, but I’ll never tell). To highlight the post, FC used an ages old a pic of Lady Gaga in the gross meat dress, because, you know, the page is all about irony, comedy and being obnoxious, which is why we all love it so much (not the meat dress, the obnoxious comedy).
Oh, what a fracas it caused across Facebook. Heaps of FC’s 170, 000 followers supported the move, while some weren’t so happy about it and threatened to unfollow straight away.
Anyway, as The Vegan Company is all about supporting anything that is fashion related in the vegan space, I thought I’d grill FC on this awesome move, plus chat a bit about the fabulous, hilarious Fashion Critical Facebook page in general.
Shonagh Walker: What’s the general idea behind FC?
Fashion Critical: Ultimately, it’s a comedy Facebook page looking at celebrity red carpet fashion. I post albums of red-carpet events and critique the fashion of the celebs on the carpet. It’s funny and irreverent and not everyone’s cup of tea, but 170,000 people seem to enjoy it.
SW: Why are you doing No Meat May?
FC: I have been pescatarian since 2001 but just like when I was a meat eater, I’ve settled into eating fish not “occasionally” as I promised myself I would, but fairly regularly.
There are huge environmental issues with fish consumption, and from a health perspective I’m keen to go completely animal free for the month of May! I’d also like to have a crack at being as plant based as possible – so no dairy and no eggs.
Ultimately, I think big changes are easier to make incrementally, so No Meat May is a great option for me, or anyone else looking to experiment with a different way of eating that has a multitude of benefits.
SW: What do you hope to achieve from it?
FC: Ultimately, one day I would love to be vegan, or at least live a largely plant based life. It is so overwhelming though isn’t it to think about giving up things FOREVER. You mean ‘NO CHEESE EVER AGAIN’?
I remember I felt that way when I gave up eating land animals. I decided to just do it “for a month” and see how I went. It was much easier to do it that way and I never looked back! It was so easy! I’m kind of hoping the same thing might happen.
SW: Why did you decide to post the Gaga image in the meat dress and announce you’re doing No Meat May?
FC: Honestly, I didn’t think anything of it. I thought it was a cool initiative and worth talking about. Very irregularly, I might post on something unrelated to FC that I think is cool or needs to be said. I can count the handful of times that I’ve done it, but I decided to do No Meat May and remembered Gaga’s meat dress and decided it would be an amusing way to talk about it.
It’s also an ongoing shtick that I’m really an old street sweeper from Gundagai, so I made a harmless gag about needing to give up my chicken shnitties at the Gundagai RSL for the month.
SW: Was the negative reaction from some of your followers a surprise?
FC: Heck yes it was! Firstly, I didn’t know about the vegan protests [that happened on the same day] because I guess I was living in a hole that day. So, people were feeling MIGHTY RIGHTEOUS and angry! I guess I have a lot of followers who are farmers.
I found it staggering to be honest as loads of people might post about doing Dry July or doing Shave for a Cure or WHATEVER. There are so many things like this out there and this is one that means something to me, so I shared it. The rage about it from some people pretty misguided in my humble opinion.
It was not dissimilar than someone posting about Dry July and an onslaught of defensive alcohol drinkers crying “BUT WHAT ABOUT THE ALCOHOL INDUSTRY!!!!! I am going to drink 300000 beers this month to support the alcohol industry!”. I’ve honestly never seen a topic that makes people more defensive than eating meat. I find it curious.
I probably had an equal amount of positive comments though, which was cool.
SW: Why do you say to those who are giving your fire and brimstone over this post?
FC: I’d say calm the F down because I’ll say whatever I want on my page and if you don’t like it, you can politely move on. I laughed very hard when people said, “unfollowing the page now”. I mean HONESTLY. Sensitive much?
Also, as another follower rightly said, “this isn’t an airport, no need to announce your departure.” That gave me a chuckle.
The fact is, the Internet is a wonderful place where you can read what you want and NOT READ what you don’t want.
If you can’t deal with me talking about a cool little initiative that I’m taking part in that is good for my health, good for the planet and good for our animal friends, then you might need to have a little think about why you doth protest so much?
But mainly, I just moved on because my care factor on most things is zero and there are more important things to worry about, like what people will be wearing at the Met Gala this year.
SW: What do you say to those accusing you of being ‘political’?
FC: I laugh my head off. I’ve made statements in the past about R U OK! Day and suicide. Nobody accused me of being “political” then. I was simply talking about something that I felt mattered and saying something that I wanted to say.
FC is ultimately a place where people come to chuckle and check out red carpet fashion. It’s never going to change from being that, but occasionally, I might use my platform to say something I feel like saying.
If you can’t cope with that, please feel free to go some other place on the interweb machine.
SW: So, it’s safe to say you think everyone should quite literally ‘calm their farm”?
FC: Bahahahaha! Yes, that’s probably sage advice. I think the vegan protest really got everyone’s knickers in a knot. Frankly, I think everyone has a right to peacefully protest to bring about change. I am not a vegan (yet) but I’m pretty sure the world would be a better place if more people were.
Changing the status quo is HARD. That’s why No Meat May is cool. Give it a try for a month, no strings attached, then go back to what you were doing before! No bother. Apparently most NMM participants end up reducing their meat consumption after they realise how many yummy things they can eat that don’t contain meat and also how great they feel eating more plants and veggies!
SW: Do you reckon you’ll post about No Meat May on your page throughout the month, given the negative reaction from before?
FC: Nah. I never intended to either. I just thought it was a cool idea, decided to do it, remembered the Gaga Meat dress and posted. I never put too much thought into my posts to be honest, it’s very stream of consciousness. But I was never going to blog about my journey, no. It’s back to the red carpet for me!
Follow Fashion Critical @fashioncritical/Facebook